Fred Grossetete Gravesite
Apache Creek, Catron County, New Mexico
Submitted by Nancy Brown
17 November 2006
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The Fred Grossetete gravesite is in Apache Creek, about 7 miles north the Apache Creek Store on Highway 32. It is up on a low ridge to the west of the streambed. North of the Apache Creek Deaf Ranch where the highway comes down off the mountainous winding curves, you can see the valley below the road and the ridge to the west is where the grave is located. There is, what looks like, another unmarked grave near by. We do not know who that person was.
I have been told two different stories about this incident. One local story is that Grossetete and another man got into a quarrel over a card game and that they shot each other, Grossetete being seriously wounded and the other man killed. This story relates that Grossetete got on a horse and desperately tried to ride to his home near Apache Mountain, but died before reaching there.
The other story related to me was that the men were at Collins Park at a ranch now known as Dead Man’s Ranch. It seems that the other man (name unknown to me) accused Grossetete of telling a lie about his sister. Tempers flared and each man pulled a gun and fired. The defender of the woman’s name was killed and Grossetete was badly wounded. The men at the ranch buried the first man and Grossetete was loaded into a wagon and haste was made to get him to his home near Apache Mountain before he died, but he passed on there in Apache Creek. A rancher’s wife told me the later story and said that her grandfather was there when it happened. It could have been all of the same incident, cards and a woman’s good name, but nonetheless we have a ranch named for the incident and a headstone that reads Fred Grossetete.